Why Core Strength Is Important
by Kerrie Riolo
M.Ed. Cert. Exercise Physiologist
If I had a dollar for every time I told a client to "engage their core" I'd be very, very wealthy.
There's a good reason I sound like a broken record. A strong core is essential to a properly functioning body.
It's quite literally the center of your body. Your core consists of muscles that work together in coordination to support your spine. It houses all your inner organs, and central nervous system. Your core is involved when you twist, squat, lift anything, your core even helps you walk, and tie your shoes. Basically it helps you do just about everything!
While looking good is a nice motivator - six pack abs are actually beside the point. (Though let's be real who doesn't want a flat, toned stomach?) Fat accumulated in the belly can be particularly dangerous to our health, and increases risk of heart disease and diabetes.
A weak core can also impair how well your arms and legs function. Almost all motions begin or move through the core.
Here are 3 compelling reasons to focus on core strength:
- Back Pain - Experts estimate that roughly 80% of the population will experience back pain during their life time. Even if you don't currently have pain this is reason enough to pay attention. When you strengthen your core - one of the key muscle groups responsible for posture and stability - you're basically providing the body with an internal corset to support the spine.
- Balance - I often tell people balance is one of those things that if you don't use it you lose it. As we age our balance can significantly decline. It becomes more and more important to take care of our core so we can maintain balance and avoid falls. A strong core can even delay aging as it helps to keep the body in alignment.
- It helps you look thinner - Okay this falls in the vanity category, but it's accurate. Good posture goes hand in hand with core strength, and both can help you look leaner and taller.